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The North Carolina Teacher Cadet Program began in 1997 and has proven to be successful in increasing student interest in the teaching profession with the long-term focus on “growing our own” teachers.
The program is a structured course of study that encourages high school students to consider entering the education profession. Implemented in cooperation with school districts across the state, the program encourages high school students to attend college and to eventually teach in North Carolina public schools. Using an exemplary 21st Century curriculum and hands-on teaching field experiences, the program gives students a positive but realistic view of the educational profession. Students who complete the program develop a passion for the teaching profession, are more apt to engage in positive public education initiatives, and to overall be a more engaged citizen of North Carolina. The program has come full circle with former cadets now instructing in Teacher Cadet classrooms.
Rural and economically distressed counties find it challenging to recruit and retain quality teachers from other counties and states. Teacher Cadet is an invaluable tool in preparing students for teaching careers, and statistics have shown that students who grow up in these areas are more likely to return to them after college. By significantly reducing the time and financial burden of teacher recruitment and retention, school systems are able to redirect scarce resources to other needy areas. In addition, local students, with local ties and local knowledge, will more easily assimilate into the school's environment and the community at large. This translates to longer teaching commitments and, in turn, lower costs of replacement. It's a win-win-win scenario for the school, the teacher, and the community.
The Teacher Cadet Program averages a statewide enrollment of over 1,700 students — over 1,700 potential future public school teachers for this state.
Teacher Cadet I and II may be offered in a high school with Teacher Cadet I being the more standard classroom-based experience, but including 3 weeks of observation and assistance in actual elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. Teacher Cadet II is more of an “internship” where the students are in an actual “field placement” for 3 or 4 days per week and only in the class with their cadet instructor 1-2 days per week. The developmentally structured program results in a portfolio that chronicles the experiences of the students.
Both classes are eligible for honors credit. The copyrighted curriculum was reviewed by DPI and awarded statewide approval for honors credit. Each LEA determines if they wish to offer their Teacher Cadet courses as Honors.
For a teacher to become a Teacher Cadet instructor they must: 1) hold a clear Standard 2 North Carolina license, 2) be an active employee of a North Carolina LEA, 3) have the approval of their current administrator, and 4) complete the mandatory 15-hour Teacher Cadet curriculum training.
Teacher Cadet I and II are quality high school courses that introduce students to the field of education. The curriculum introduces students to the science of learning, the role of the learner, professional expectations and responsibilities of the teacher as well as presenting the global perspective of educational systems past, present, and future. The program is a model for “Growing Our Own.” Students who complete the course(s) have an informed and realistic idea of how a classroom, school, and system operate. Students also spend time in educational settings beyond their high school setting to experience the realities of classrooms at all instructional levels.
The curriculum is activity based and uses observation and reflection, student choice, projects, individualized contracts and research to effectively engage students in learning. The curriculum also teaches basic concepts of human growth and development, current educational research and practices, history of education, and development of the education profession.
The latest curriculum edition uses “Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy” to rework all lesson plans in a new format that encourages recognition and use of higher-order thinking skills. Additionally, there is more information on brain research, best practices, and a new section on tips from current Teacher Cadet instructors.
The 700-page curriculum is also made available to Teacher Cadet instructors in an electronic publication using LiveBinders.com. Teachers are given a pass-code to access the electronic curriculum upon completion of a curriculum workshop. Teacher Cadet staff is available to teachers for ongoing technical assistance as they begin the new process.
STAFF & LEADERSHIP
The Executive Director of the NC Foundation for Public School Children coordinates the Teacher Cadet Program and is supported by the Teacher Cadet Cadre. The Cadre is a group of eight licensed public school teachers from various areas of North Carolina who serve as the advisory committee for the program. These teachers write and revise the curriculum, lead curriculum workshops, provide ongoing support to cadet teachers and classrooms, and teach or have taught a cadet class.
A major component of the success of the Teacher Cadet Program is the College Partnerships. More than ever, schools of education are depending on the pool of cadet students to recruit for their programs The program has college partnerships with 18 colleges and universities including UNC- Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro, Pembroke, and Wilmington; Appalachian State University, Belmont Abbey College, Catawba College, and Chowan University, East Carolina, Elizabeth City State, Fayetteville State University, Meredith College, NC A&T, NC Central, NC State, Western Carolina, and Winston-Salem State University.
Through partnerships with colleges and universities who have approved Education Programs, cadets may receive instruction at a college level at times, build relationships with professors and education majors from college campuses, and have experiences on those campuses prior to the time that they choose a college and/or enroll in one. This is a great advantage to students in the program.
The next scheduled curriculum workshop is May 10-11, 2018 in Raleigh. Cost per registrant averages $400 which includes workshop fee, hotel, meals, training materials, curriculum notebook and access code to electronic curriculum.
Details and registration form to come. More info? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 984-222-3625.